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Tale from the river bank (with apologies)

by Brian Lavers

The farm played host to the Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) on Saturday 26 October when our Education Room was used for a briefing given by Glen Skelton, SWT RiverSearch Coordinator, to around a dozen volunteers each of whom will be allocated an approximately 500m stretch of the South branch of the River Wey which they will survey at least once each season. The volunteers will record river features, both man-made and natural, including non-native species, reporting these using a standard format (hence the training session) to a central database.

The volunteers take notes on the riverbank.

The volunteers taking notes on the riverbank, with Mike Clear third from left (without a hi-viz waistcoat).

The afternoon was spent along the stretch of the river running the length of Wey Meadow, an SSSI, putting into practise what had been learned in the morning and using a list of 63 features ranging from the “good”, e.g. meanders, riffles and buffer strips (plenty on this particular stretch of the river) to the “bad” e.g. weirs and concrete walled channels (none here).

Full details of the RiverSearch initiative are available via the SWT website.

The volunteers cross the Wey via the footbridge next to the ford as they return from the Wey Meadow SSSI (site of special scientific interest).

The volunteers cross the Wey via the footbridge next to the ford as they return from the Wey Meadow SSSI (site of special scientific interest).